Impressive is the only way to describe Diane Paddison’s curriculum vitae. Right out of Oregon State University, she was thrust into the business fast lane with a career opportunity at IBM, followed two years later by acceptance to Harvard Business School. With her MBA behind her, she has spent more than twenty years in corporate and institutional real estate, holding the title of COO for two Fortune 500 companies, Prologis and Trammell Crow.
Diane’s new book Work, Love, Pray is a compilation of stories and advice from fifteen career women who share their triumphs and struggles in trying to juggle faith, family and work.
SCH: Diane, why did you write this book?
DP: I wrote the book at the urging of my dear friend, Bob Buford, former CEO of an inter-net cable company that bundled a bunch of other companies together. He knew my passion for leading and mentoring other career women through my non-profit organization, 4Word, and that writing a book was a very effective way of promoting it.
SCH: What did you learn about yourself in the process?
DP: I found out that I hate to write. Diane and I both laughed at her response. But, really, the most important thing I learned is that God has had this plan for me all along and I can see the doors that have opened and the opportunities He has given me have all lead to this place.
She went on to name a few of the women in her book: Kat Armstrong, Melissa Throope and Lisa Gardener are in the 20-30 age group with their attendant problems. Kat shared how she and her husband have date nights. Melissa was hired by Trammell Crow as an analyst and Lisa is in real estate in Dallas.
At the other extreme, are Frances Hesselbein, 92 and Ebby Halliday, 100, whose brains, according to Diane, are as sharp as anyone she’s ever known.
She met the others in various ways. Erin Botsford is her financial planner, Marla Maloney works in the environmental arena. Lisbeth McNabb, the CFO of Match.com, and Marissa Peterson have been Diane’s business associates.
Diane has a huge network of accomplished Christian women, CPA’s, experts in social media and venture capitalists, to name a few. Diane’s response to my asking what a typical day looks like: “There are no typical days.”
She told me of her last week of back-to-back meetings, 4:00am risings, 5:30am workouts and trips to the grocery store, and after a second workout, a simple dinner in her hotel room at night. She met with several prospective clients, saw the VP of Coca Cola, Bonnie Workbacher, and consulted with Shauntee Feldhahn, author of, For Women Only and The Life-Ready Woman.
Diane divides her home time between Oregon, from where she travels ten to fifteen days a month and Dallas, traveling approximately ten days a month. Chris, her husband, is a consultant in the pharmaceutical and health care field and travels a good deal himself, recently returning from China.
SCH: Diane, tell us about your support team.
DP: We have two cleaners who come every two weeks for deep cleaning and the grandparents who have faithfully taken up the slack when Chris and I are both gone. Gus, our youngest, has only seven months until he goes off to college like the other three kids. When the children were little, we had a nanny who’d come in the morning and stay until six. We try to have one parent at home at any given time, but that’s where the grandparents have been so wonderful in pitching in to cover us.
SCH: Who does the cooking and what’s the favorite family meal?
DP: The cooking is divided fairly equally, and everyone agrees that Italian is the most popular.
SCH: What’s the best thing you have ever eaten in your life and where can you get it?
DP: It’s the Key Lime Pie from Breadwinner’s Café in Dallas. She answered without hesitation.
SCH: Diane, when and how did you meet the Lord?
DP: I was raised in a Christian home with godly parents and reinforced my faith by attending a Bible study group at OSU, called the Gathering.
SCH: What does a day off or family vacation look like?
DP: We have a ranch in Texas where we fish, ride horse-back and shoot.
SCH: What is the underlying message in your book?
DP: That with God’s help, you can do it all.